SOPHY AND THE “FELLERS.”
Every body knows that the West is a great place for getting married in, and it is pleasant to know that the fair ones are just as satisfied with their condition afterwards. We don’t know who “Clarinda” is, or how or where her letter first became public, but here it is: [St. Louis Reveille.]
Hollenbecks Grove, Illinois, 1800 & 11.
Dear Clarinda:--I got here two weeks ago, and here I shall certainly eend my days. Mr. Garrison that came out with me left me at Shekigo, and I was glad on it, for I never did see a feller stick to a gal as he did to me, and it warn’t for nothin, nether—but he didn’t talk of marryin’ me, but was jest hangin’ round me, but I told him to keep his distance—that’s the way to use such fellers. I’ve a notion that hees in a fix with a gal down in Kaintuck—any how, I wouldent look at him now, for I’ve had five fellers to spark me since I cum here, and another wants to cum, but I give him the bags. One of my sparks has got three quarter secshuns and hous, is six foot tall, and four yoke oxen, and is a widdorer, and wants to marry me next week, but I shall wait a little and see if I can do enny better, for between us, widdorers are so quear, and talk rite up so, they alwis friten me—but howsumever I spose they dont mean more than uther men. This cuntry is verry large and so is men and the prarys they say is rollin’ but I don’t see but they are as still as any uther plase. Meeting is scarcse here and wheat dont fetch but 2 and 6—hay and potatoes they almost give away, and sich lots of children—the unfeelin’ mothers feed their babys on pork and potatoes on account of milk sickness in this country, a puty way to grow babys I guess you’ll think.
Now you must come out, I know you’ll make your fortin here. Jim sez there’s only one gal on the hill of big prayry, with golden hair like yourn, and she got an offer every day in the week after she got here. Now she’s got a husband, a nise hous and farm and a pare of twins. You can’t help liking the country—tell Amy if she’ll come here she wont have to keep a wishing and a lucking for the fellers as we used to in Westbrook—out here theyr rite arter you before you think of it. Tell mother I hope she’ll come to see me as soon as I get to housekeepin and if she thinks on it she may bring them little red socks in the till of my chest. When you cum be shure and go with the steam boat Cheespeck, Captain Dilsy, at Bufferlow—he is the nicest man on the water, was so good to us all. I almost luv him if he is a marryed man. Give my luv to Jane, and ask her how she and Bill gits on, and if hees popped the question yet. She may have him for all me—I can do better. I can pick my likins mong the fellers here. Nobody cant help likin this country. No more from your lovin Cousin till death.
Source: New York Spirit of the Times 15.10 (3 May 1845): 109. (University of Virginia Alderman Library).
Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
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